Am I Making LSAT Progress?
One of the most common questions we get from students is whether they are making good enough “LSAT progress” or not. As you might guess, this measure if fairly subjective. Although this will vary from student to student, there are some guideposts to let you know where you are in your prep. Keep reading to see how to track LSAT progress!
Am I Making LSAT Progress?
1. First, make sure to set a baseline for your studying.
In order to know how much LSAT progress you make, you need to know where you came from. Early in your prep, take a full, timed LSAT exam. Then, score it and see where you scored. Break down your score by section/question type and also by the total overall score. This will be what you measure yourself against moving forward.
2. Next, analyze what you did well and badly, and tailor your plan accordingly.
The next step in making LSAT progress is to use your initial performance to tailor your approach. If you notice that you really struggle with a particular section or question type, make sure to address that. It might be you need to spend more time on certain parts of the material than others. This is perfectly normal! Not everyone handles each part of the LSAT the same way.
Once you have completed these two steps, you will be better able to judge whether your approach to the LSAT is working.
You are making progress if…
1. You are consistently getting more questions right when compared to your initial test. (Yes, this is obvious but we have to say it!)
2. You are getting a similar number of questions correct, but you notice that you are working within the allotted time more consistently.
3. You are getting a similar number of questions correct, but you notice you understand the questions better and, when you get a question wrong, tend to choose the “almost right” answer.
While numbers 2 and 3 above may not seem like obvious progress, they actually are! Timing is so crucial to your LSAT success. Without really nailing this down prior to your test day, you will find it really difficult to do well. So, any progress made towards getting under 35 minutes per section is great.
Now, it may be hard to pitch “you are still getting questions wrong, but your wrong answers are better” as a form of progress, but bear with me. Although choosing the second best answer won’t reflect in your score, it does show that you are on the path to the right one. You most likely need to make small tweaks to your approach, like focusing on keywords or reading the answer choices more carefully. It’s much easier to make progress from the “almost right” answer to the “actually right” answer than it is to make progress from one that is totally outside the scope of the issue.
You are not making progress if…
1. You get more answers right during your review but guess on many of the questions.
2. You get the answers correct but consistently run over the allotted time, even after working on timing.
3. Answer a question correctly, but have no idea why it is correct.
Yes, it is good to get more questions correct, but you need to do so under testing conditions. You won’t be able to count on luck on test day to raise your score by an significant amount. There’s no rhyme or reason to guessing. Hoping to get lucky during the actual LSAT is not a substitute for analyzing your performance and identifying your weaknesses.
Similarly, it’s great to analyze, dissect, and then answer a question correctly, but if you run over your allotted time, it is all for nothing. You will never take the actual LSAT under anything but timed conditions. You need to deal with the questions on it in a set amount of time. There’s no point in really nailing down 12 questions in a section if you don’t even get to the last 10-15.
What if I am not making LSAT progress?
First, remember to keep everything in perspective. LSAT progress happens differently for everyone. Some people see drastic increases immediately during their prep, while others see small but steady progress over time. Both are normal!
If you just aren’t seeing improvements in your results, consider changing your approach! This can be as simple as changing the time of day or the place you study. If this doesn’t help, evaluate your prep materials and approach. Maybe your current resources aren’t explaining concepts to you in a way that you easily process. Luckily, there are dozens of LSAT resources to help you find your way!
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